2017-2018 NBA Previews – LA Clippers Odds
Looking for 2017 LA Clippers Predictions? We’ve got your back. The Clippers were part of one of the NBA’s most surprising trades this summer, and unfortunately for them, they were not on the winning side. At least, they were not on the winning side as far as most were concerned. They certainly got a haul back and did improve their overall depth. But overall depth doesn’t seem to make up for the loss of Chris Paul, one of the greatest point guards the Association has ever seen.
Team Season Preview
Head Coach: Doc Riveres
2016-17 Record: 51-31
LA Clippers Odds to NBA Title: +10000
LA Clippers Odds to Win Conference: +5000
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With Paul officially a member of the Houston Rockets, the Clippers have turned things over to Blake Griffin, and not just for this season. Remember, it was Griffin who was the free agent this summer—not Paul.
Griffin signed a max contract extension to stay in Los Angeles, while Paul forced himself to Houston, via a trade.
The real question here isn’t how big of a step back the Clips are going to take, but how much of a step back. The answer to that will come soon, but for now, we’ll take a look at what this roster looks like entering a post-Paul era.
LA Clippers Strengths:
There’s no question where this team’s strengths lie. It’s in the frontcourt, and it’s all about Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
Let’s start with Griffin. If there was ever question as to whether or not he can be a true go-to scorer, we’re about to find out. He’s a versatile power forward who has improved his jump shot and his low-post scoring.
He isn’t the posterizing machine he once was, but the Clips are just fine with that considering he’s made a name for himself as a more well-rounded 4 who can score in the half court, get buckets in transition and even run a transition when necessary.
As far as DeAndre Jordan goes, he’s not going to be a second scoring option. And the truth is that he’s not going to get as many easy buckets as he did with Paul creating (meaning we could very likely see his ridiculous 70-plus percent shooting percentage drop).
All that said, he is still as big a threat as the league has above the rim—especially on lobs. He’s a stronger rim protector than he gets credit for and he’s an excellent off-ball shot blocker.
The Clips also have depth that they can point to this season, whereas they haven’t been able to do that in the recent past. Montrezl Harrell is a forgotten piece who’s coming over in the Paul trade. Sam Dekker, when healthy, should provide a scoring and shooting threat off the bench.
(Oh yeah, let us not forget that Dekker’s backing up newcomer Danilo Gallinari, who is also a big-time scoring and shooting threat.)
Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams are no Paul and J.J. Redick (Redick is also gone, via a free-agency deal with the Philadelphia 76ers), but they’re going to create a solid defense-offense combo with their respective skill sets.
Combine all that with that fact that Milos Teodosic should prove to be one of the more underrated rookie guards in the league and you have a team that can rely on its backups for the first time in the Doc Rivers era.
LA Clippers Weaknesses:
Health. Health. Health. Health. Health.
Have we made that clear? This team needs to stay healthy. For starters, Griffin, the team’s now-consensus No. 1 player, has yet to prove he can do that over the past few seasons.
DeAndre Jordan has stayed healthy, which is good news. But now the team’s starting small forward (Gallinari) has not.
Depth is a good thing, but relying on it exclusively is a bad thing.
There’s also the fact that the team lacks a true playmaker and creator with the loss of Paul. Beverley, while a decent (if not slightly overrated) defender, will not be the same type of creator.
That means for the first time in this era of Clippers basketball the team will have to rely on Griffin (and Gallinari) to create for himself).
Don’t forget, either, that Jamal Crawford is gone as well. Although he was ultra-inefficient last season, his volume scoring will be missed. Williams and Austin Rivers will have to step up in his and Redick’s absence.
LA Clippers Betting Prediction: 45-37
The Clippers could realistically be anything from a 43-win team to a 49-win team. It’s really going to depend on health.
Although we’re picking a win total right in the middle, we’re really not copping out here. This team should find a way to compensate for a lack of star power with depth, and (if Griffin can stay healthy), it will push the 50-win mark.
We just can’t assume they win 50 games until they get health to finally be on their side.
Forty-five wins feels right. Which is favorable considering Vegas set the over/under at 43.5 for this franchise.
2017 NBA Gambling
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